A week can be a long time in footy. And every week I’m part of the team using statistics to build a game plan for Hawthorn. From team selection, player rotations, match ups or formations, we analyse every team in the competition to identify patterns and strategies that might offer insight into how to approach the match.
What I wanted to be when I grew up changed a lot as a teenager. My mother was an accountant, and she’d give us maths problems on long car trips or would get me involved in balancing the books for dad’s building business.
Sport has always been a big part of my life. I was the type of kid that often found it difficult to concentrate in a classroom environment and craved sport, music and outdoor education. A teacher in high school inspired me to study engineering and would relate my specialist maths questions to sport. It was a brilliant way to keep me interested and help me understand difficult concepts.
I started studying a Bachelor of Product Design Engineering, but sport was calling me. I completed a Bachelor of Sports Engineering at Victoria University and eventually followed it up with a Master of Football Analytics.
Becoming a sports analyst means having a genuine interest in the sport, not just the team. Work on your ability to put yourself in the minds of players, and coaches – then swap to an objective viewpoint. Be prepared to do internships, have ideas for your own projects and to learn a coding language.
When I get some time away from the club, I enjoy playing music and watching sport (surprise). I also coach my partner’s basketball team. I’m sure he loves having his scoring efficiency recited to him at every timeout!